Effective Treatment Begins with a Comprehensive Plan
Treatment can be thought of as organic, ever changing. A treatment plan is a continually changing plan that reflects how the client is going to become well, step-by-step. It serves as a road map, taking the client from illness to wellness! If a client has severe medical issues, she is referred to a cardiologist, gynecologist, orthopedic surgeon, gastroenterologist, or a dentist.
At Mirasol the whole person is treated — not just parts of her. If new symptoms appear while the resident is with us, we make sure those symptoms and their origins are immediately addressed.
Dedicated, Committed Staff
Mirasol's staff members, many who are in recovery from mood disorders themselves, are gentle and nurturing in their approach to clients. They treat all residents with dignity and respect, even down to our youngest 12 year old. Mirasol believes that this is the only way anyone can heal. The staff has a great deal of empathy and compassion for the clients. They are aware that the intensity of emotions that some residents feel can keep them locked into a vicious cycle. They know the client has complex fears and obstacles and are in emotional turmoil. The staff is committed to help the client find a new path with different behaviors, ways of thinking, and coping mechanisms. Mirasol's integrative, individualized approach helps women, boys, and girls:
- Identify emotional triggers for binges, which may have underlying causes that have not been properly identified or addressed.
- Create awareness of healthy ways to respond to fear, anger, sadness, stress, anxiety, trauma or shame
- Avoid destructive "either/or" thought patterns that add to the experience of hopelessness and unmanageability for many women in their disease
- Develop confidence in her potential to make healthy choices to manage emotions
- 3-4 groups daily
- one-to-one psychotherapy sessions, 2-4 times a week
- 2-4 additional individual sessions daily
- expressive and experiential therapies
- meal support and regular consultation with dietary staff, meeting with dietitian 2-3 times a week.
- group sessions to teach and practice behavior modification and emotion management
- family therapy (including family participation)
- onsite and offsite twelve-step meetings
- weekly psychiatric consultation
- trauma awareness and recovery
- educational services for school-age women
- anxiety disorders
- Personality disorders
- bipolar disorders
- panic disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- a variety of phobias and compulsions
A client with a mood disorder ultimately is responsible for making healthy choices. It is not a treatment center that makes a person well or a particular therapist. The clients receive coaching, psychotherapy, and positive reinforcement while they are learning a whole set of new skills, distress tolerance, reality acceptance skills, and emotional regulation.
Holistic, Integrative Treatment
At Mirasol we wish we could just wave a magic wand and everyone would be cured. But that is not the case unfortunately. Mirasol uses an integrated model of treatment where we combine the best of the cognitive-behavioral world combined with the most effective alternative interventions. We focus on skill-building so when our residents leave they have the tools to deal with their emotions and everyday life as it presents itself. The residents have a full range healthy choices to make rather than feeling overwhelmed by their emotions which is all they knew before Mirasol. As they learn to trust themselves and their tools, their self-esteem and self-confidence rises, anxiety and stress are reduced, and increased self-awareness gives them the start they need to live a full, healthy life. A client's individualized treatment plan use interventions that are proven to help people learn to modulate their emotions and to recover!
Some of the treatment alternatives offered are:
Women struggling with mood disorders will find hope and be inspired by Mirasol's integrative, holistic model of treatment. They may have been under-diagnosed as they frequently are treated for what is called "the primary" addiction or symptoms and not the co-occurring condition. Most mood disorders are accompanied by other psychiatric conditions that make recovery difficult to attain.
Severe psychiatric conditions that may co-occur with mood disorders:
Experiential therapies, a substantial part of treatment
Experiential therapies are a large part of the Mirasol program. Not every person can heal doing DBT or cognitive-behavioral therapy. We have found that experiential therapies may be the keys that open doors in helping a person access an inner state and provide release of emotion. They can help increase self-esteem, help the client develop a strong sense of self, and help her feel empowered.
Experiential therapies can be body oriented such as polarity therapy, can be adventure therapies such as ropes courses, caving and camping and can also examine how a person's brain and brain wave patterns are an integral part of whole person. We don't treat a person from just the neck down, but we treat the whole person including any abnormalities in the brain.
State of the Art Nutritional Philosophy
The food at Mirasol is one of the highlights of the program. We have chefs that prepare whole foods that are relatively low in fat and organic whenever possible. The food is delicious. How could we begin to teach people with eating disorders to eat if the food were horrible?
We have a whole foods philosophy and believe that food can serve as medicine. We buy local foods and serve a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. The goal at Mirasol is not to overfeed someone (unless they're extremely malnourished) and fatten them up but to help them either gain weight or lose weight slowly. Slow weight gain or loss helps the client keep up with the process psychologically.
We serve food at a large buffet table. Each person has their own individual food plan and they will put the food on the plate themselves accordingly. There are two staff members at each meal to oversee the clients. If someone, as an example, doesn't serve themselves an adequate amount of protein, the staff member will comment on it and have the client make the correction. Everyone sits around the table family style.
Frequently the first five minutes of each meal is meditative, a time when clients can concentrate on the taste of the food, how it feels in their mouths, and how much anxiety they might have around eating. After that the staff will ask the clients how full or how hungry they are. Staff asks this at the beginning and at the end of a meal so the client will begin to redevelop a sense of interoceptive or proprioceptive awareness. Clients can actually learn to tell when they're hungry and when they're full. They rapidly learn that their own bodies are a much more reliable indicator than using measuring cups!
Grocery store outings, dinner outings, lunch outings (including eating at MacDonalds), meal planning and cooking are all part of how the client can learn to be comfortable with food. While in treatment she is constantly surrounded by people (staff and peers) who understand their challenges with food.
What should parents or loved ones say if they're concerned?
Focused Continuing Care
As with all programs at Mirasol, Focused Continuing Care is another one of the amazing parts of the program. What good does all of this care, nurturing and good treatment do, if we just say Bye-bye at the door?
We carry our relationship on with clients when they go home. They'll see their own therapists (at home) twice a week and also work with a licensed Mirasol therapist on the telephone or Skype. They'll have a full year of aftercare from the time of their discharge. The wonderful thing about the aftercare with two therapists is that if one therapist sees the client beginning to struggle, she/he can get in touch with the other therapist and between them they can figure out how to keep the client out of full relapse.
We have found that if all clients who discharge from the programs follow their aftercare program religiously for one year, their recovery rates can be as high as 85% at one year.
How can I start my recovery?
Call us and one of our experienced intake professionals can help you decide if treatment for mood disorders and compulsive behaviors will help you or someone you love return to complete health. Mirasol accepts girls and boys from ages 12-17 and women 18 and up for admission.
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